During this Breast Cancer Awareness Month scientists and advocates are focusing attention on Bisphenol A, an ingredient in the gooey film that lines food cans, as a cause of the breast cancer epidemic.
Bisphenol A ?(BPA) is an estrogen-mimicking industrial chemical used in some food packaging as well as some polycarbonate plastics and cash register receipts. The Endocrine Society classifies BPA as one of many one of many Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs) that cause metabolic syndrome, a disorder that encompasses obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
An estimated 27% of adults in the US are affected by metabolic syndrome and BPA is found in the urine of more than 90% of the U.S. population.
?In July of this year, the Food and Drug Administration?said that baby bottles and children’s drinking cups could no longer contain BPA.
The Breast Cancer Fund has gone one step further in its report, ?Disrupted Development: The Dangers of Prenatal BPA Exposure.??The report details how exposure in utero can set the stage for developing life threatening diseases like breast cancer later in life. The chemical is lipophilic, or fat-seeking. It leaches from the can lining into food and thus constitutes and almost ever present part of our diet.
A subset of the fetal studies, animal and human, focuses on the effects of BPA on the development of the mammary gland. They indicate that the timing of exposure may affect susceptibility to later-life mammary tumors. The developing fetus modifies its development to ?adapt? to environmental cues such as fluctuations levels of all hormones, even false ones. This adaptive ability can result in the permanent changes linked to adult disease.
Prenatal exposures to BPA at concentrations of up to 25 times lower than the EPA safe dose have been shown to cause negative health effects in the fetuses of animals. Evidence from human studies also documents an association between low levels of prenatal BPA exposure and adverse health effects in the fetus.
The good news is that while we are constantly exposed to BPA from the linings of cans, plastic food packaging, and water bottles, eliminating it from your diet for three days can reduce the amount of BPA in your urine by 90%. ?During a study by the Breast Cancer Fund and the Silent Spring Institute, participating families were provided with catered food, carefully prepared to avoid BPA contamination, for three days. BPA urine levels were measured before, during and after this dietary intervention. On average, BPA levels dropped by 66 percent, and for one family they dropped by 75 percent.
Edited/Published by: SB